Dwelling on past mistakes only hurts Wayne County
The first step is to support Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano and his new team as they work to right the ship. There are now two experienced organizational development experts aboard in key positions. These guys will insure that the county is run efficiently and that all employees are serving the taxpayers well. There is a former U.S. District Attorney on the team in order to correct past legal mistakes and make sure they do not happen again. There is a new Economic Development Director employed to continue the quest for new companies and added jobs in our area. There is an experienced and capable interim director for the airport now in place. The employees and appointees, who may have been problems, who might be responsible for much of the bad decisions, are gone and replaced. It is indeed time to move on.
Move on to what? To the good governance of Wayne County that we know Bob Ficano is capable of. We have seen this in his record of two decades as sheriff. He produced an administration of honesty, efficiency and delivery of good public services. Look at Ficano's recent county successes. The union contracts are largely completed. The renovation of Cobo Hall has begun. The Aerotropolis legislation is achieved. Ficano and his staff worked to achieve success with the Michigan Legislature, unlike the issue of the International bridge or regional transit. Wayne County, under Bob Ficano's leadership, designed and implemented the best system of help in the state for citizens facing foreclosure. He led trips overseas to encourage employers to locate in Wayne County, and for the first time those trips included worker representatives. The county budget is nearly balanced, and work continues without even the hint of an emergency manager unlike a number of cities within the county.
Finally consider that most important measurement of today, jobs. At the end of 2011 there are more jobs in Wayne County than there were at the end of 2010. The county's economy and job situation is improving. In the next year the county needs to continue to address past problems. But we all will be better served by focusing on what has worked and what work can be done to continue Bob Ficano's vision for Wayne County. g
Mark T. Gaffney - Retired President, Michigan AFL-CIO